WORLDKINGS - Worldkings News - Australia Records Institute (AURI) – Fiona Melanie Wood: World's first inventor of spray-on skin technology

14-02-2020

(Worldkings.org) Fiona Melanie Wood is the world's first inventor of spray-on skin technology.

Fiona Melanie Wood AM FAHMS (born 2 February 1958) is an English-born plastic surgeon working in Perth, Western Australia. She is the director of the Royal Perth Hospital burns unit and the Western Australia Burns Service.

In addition, Wood is also a clinical professor with the School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia and director of the McComb Research Foundation.

Wood has become well known for her patented invention of spray-on skin for burn victims, a treatment which is being continually developed. Where previous techniques of skin culturing required 21 days to produce enough cells to cover major burns, Wood has reduced the period to five days.

Through research, she found that scarring is greatly reduced if replacement skin could be provided within 10 days. As a burns specialist the Holy Grail for Wood is "scarless woundless healing".

Spray-on-skin technique involves taking small samples of the patient's skin and spraying them on the wound.

Wood started a company now called Avita Medical to commercialise the procedure. Her business came about after a schoolteacher arrived at Royal Perth Hospital in 1992 with petrol burns to 90% of his body. 

Wood turned to the emerging US-invented technology of cultured skin to save his life, working nights in a laboratory along with scientist Marie Stoner. The two women began to explore tissue engineering.

They moved from growing skin sheets to spraying skin cells; earning a worldwide reputation as pioneers in their field. The company started operating in 1993 and now cultures small biopsies into bigger volumes of skin cell suspensions in as few as five days. 

This service is used by surgeons in Sydney, Auckland and Birmingham. Cells can be delivered via aircraft and ready for use the next day in many cases.  

According to en.wikipedia


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